What is stopping the Jan Lokpal Bill?

The Aam Aami Party (AAP) and Delhi Government is putting all sorts of efforts to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill but received 27 votes in the favor of it and 42 against it in the Assembly. Earlier Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal threatens to resign if Jan Lokpal Bill would not be passed. Now everyone is waiting for the AAP’s decision.

It seems that Congress and BJP are now one and fighting not to introduce and pass the Bill. The normal functioning of the House was also disrupted on Thursday by Congress and BJP when they demanded the resignation of the Law Minister Somnath Bharti. The AAP government has made it clear that they won’t compromise on Jan Lokpal Bill.

But is it the constitutional framework or will of political leaders which is not allowing the Jan Lokpal to pass in Delhi Assembly?

Laws on varied issues can be made according to Schedule VII of the Constitution. In case there is a conflict between the law passed by Parliament and the State legislative Assemblies, the law made by Parliament would receive priority.

Schedule I of the Constitution states that National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD) is not a full-fledged state but a Union territory (UT). In the list of UTs NCTD enjoys an exclusive position and partial statehood. The main departments like police and land are under the central government. Prior approval of home ministry is needed in case a bill under question is for making amendments in existing law.

Parliament has been given special powers to make laws on all the subjects for UTs under Article 246(4). According to Article 239-AA Legislative assembly is formed which can legislate on all state level subjects (except for few)for NCTD. It is clear that Delhi State Assembly and laws of Parliament may come to a conflicting situation. Now law of Parliament will get priority but if the President’s nod is for Legislative Assembly’s decision then the law passed by the Delhi Legislative Assembly would succeed. But for this condition, Delhi Legislative Assembly must pass the law.

Speaker M.S. Dhir said that the Bill should first be circulated to all lawmakers so that they can read it before its formal introduction.

Under 2002 rule the Lieutenant Governor is required to ask for the approval of the Centre before introducing certain legislations in the Delhi Assembly. But legally the power lies with LG (lieutenant governor). He can give his advice to Delhi government not to table the bill.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is accusing Arvind Kejriwal and saying that he should stop this drama.

Passing the Jan Lokpal Bill is important for the AAP because it was one of the promises of the Aam Aadmi Party. The Delhi Cabinet had cleared the draft of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

Leave everything aside, if the Bill is so important to eradicate corruption from the country then why such legal complications are stopping it. Constitution is made by us for better living. Constitution can never go against the peace and development of the nation. Why the political parties are not giving their unanimous consent on the Bill. Is there a possibility that leaders and parties who are opposing the Bill are afraid of the consequences? The Jan Lokpal Bill should get full support because it is in the favor of our nation.

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